I have been a member of Local 2396 here in Western Washington for about 15 years.  I worked with Vince Rainier. Lonnie wigon and ill Sullivan to get training for the divers in our local.  Everytime we wold start on something we would run into a brick wall.  I taught at the Carpenters Training Center in Kent and at Pleasantton, CA.  That was a short lived experience.  I was approached by Russ Banner out of Oregon to set up a training program for the Training Center in Willamette.  That was the last I heard of that.  My question is, with all the new changes that has come into diving, when is the UBC going to realize in order to keep diving safe there has to be training or will the divers only be a money maker for the UBC and a bastard stepchild?.  Your response will be gladly appreciated.

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Hi Willy,

I live in Western Washington and was actually considering attending school at DIT or further south at SBCC. My father is an iron worker local 86 but I am former military and always enjoyed working in the marine environment. Since the only union training I have seen with Piledrivers for diving is in Alaska, and even there you have to graduated from a school before acceptance, there doesn't seem to be a lot of options for someone like me. Rather than work offshore I would prefer to work in the Washington area and inland. With over 40,000 bridges and marine areas in dire need of maintenance and repair in the U.S. I don't think there is a lack of work to be done more to the point a lack of money to fund that work. But things will change, they always do.
If I graduate from DIT next year I don't know really what to do or what steps to take/who to approach to get accepted into the 2396 as a diver but we are a union family here and my hope is to continue the tradition. For sure I wish the 2396 had a training/apprentice program for commercial diving I would call someone everyday and bug them until they let me in.
I am the Director of Placement here at D. I.T. Emplyment here in the Northwest is really difficult but that is not to say impossible. I have been with the Institute for 35 years and have been involved with diving in one capcity or another since 1957. I have worked the Military side the Offshore side and the Inland side of it. Diving is diving or better yet pressure is pressure, whether you go Inland or Offshore. The vast majority of companies require you graduate from a commercial school or have military training. It is also a requirement with OSHA. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of which the Piledrivers are part have a program called helmets to hardhats. It is a program that accepts your military training It would cut the apprenticship down a lot. I can give you the info on 2396 as I am a member. What we need is for more divers and tenders in the brotherhood to fight for more training. A graduate from school right now is more knowledgable in diving procedures then the divers in the field right now. The brotherhood is doing exactly nothing to rectify that. As has been in the past, divers b**** about things but when it comes to doing something about it, they wait for the other giuy to take care of it. I stopped going to meetings for just that reason. Alaska has one of the best training programs in the union. there is work inland. About a month before graduation I hepl students contact companies both in the offshore industry and the inland side for work. I have a list of over 300 U. S. companies and aout half that amount for oveseas companies. If a school tells you they will guartee a job at graduation you might want to look a little hatder at it. there is no school that can guarntee you a job. I can assist you with placement but I can't place you. right now take it one step at a time. Find pa school you will be satisfied with, graduate and then hit the union. If you would like info on D. I. T. call 206-783-5542 and ask to speak with rad. Tell him Willy told you to call. He is former military and will give you straight talk.


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